VOX Questions – Scripture, Sinners, Women in Leadership, and is the Bible just an epic tale?
1. Thank you so much for recording this! I am understanding the importance of reading Scripture “in context” at a deeper level–with less of the blinders from my church experience. For example, this morning I read Matt 18:15-17 and realized we cannot take this as a step by step process for how to deal with sin in the church/excommunicate someone (as the church often does in my experience) without understanding the social context in which the passage was written–e.g., what were the standards for such issues at the time, and how did Jesus’ instructions differ? My point in saying all that is this: What do I listen to/read along with my Bible to get that kind of crucial info?
2. Recently I saw a video clip of a well known pastor talk about the two lies that scare him the most. He says the first lie is that, “You are a good person.” He references Romans 3:9-12 (which I believe comes from Ps. 14:3)as well as Ro. 3:23. Essentially he points out that the Bible teaches that no human is good, our hearts are evil. He even goes as far to say that when we speak of someone as “good” at a funeral, we’re lying, because the Bible teaches that no one is good. He also used the flood as an example of God’s wrath towards his creation that had turned evil. Most of my life, even after becoming a Christian I have struggled with depression and guilt. I guess my question is, even after Jesus, am I still a bad person? Didn’t God call his creation good? While these verses that this pastor pointed out are clearly in the Bible, what about other verses that speak of God’s great love for us? Is it a matter of seeing God’s love for us despite our sin? Do we have an “old sin nature” that stays win us even after giving our lives to Jesus? I’m finding it burdensome to give myself over to Jesus and still be considered “bad” or even that when I sin, I’m constantly disappointing him. Maybe I watched the video with too much of my own insecurities in mind. Anyway, I hope this makes sense. Thanks for reading!
3. My background – As a believer for most of my life- I have grown up in churches, Hume Lake, Biola, and other great spots where the traditional role of women is to submit, not be pastors or teachers (except to children) and not be on elder boards. I have been relatively ok with this (it’s tradition) but have really had my eyes opened with your teachings. The biggest issue I now see is that the gospel is becoming ugly to those on the “outside” of church and I know of friends who would never darken the door of my church simply because of how women are viewed. It now only seems to me to be discrimination. I can see that Jesus took a very different role with women- one for which has made me feel loved and respected, and I am so thankful – My question – what do I do in my current church to encourage any kind of light to be shed on this topic in a respectful way- when in essence I’m not even sure my concerns and perspective will be valued simply because I’m a woman? Any advice? I want to lovingly share my concerns- but honestly my foot is out the door of this church (for many reasons- women in leadership being only one.)
4. Love the podcast keep up the good work! Wondering if you have ever responded to the argument that goes: “since the Bible reads like an epic story, than that’s all it is – an epic, fictional story.” The example I’ve heard given to explain this is: “why would Emperor Augustus call for a census, especially one where you had go back to your ancestral home? It only makes sense because, like all good fiction, it makes Jesus’ birth more dramatic.” This feels very Jesus Seminar-ish to me, but it also works to turn the normal genre-based understanding of the books of the Bible against us. Thoughts on this?
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